Hong Kong freezes domestic helpers wages for second year in a row, officials point out coronavirus-hit economy a factor in refusing wage increase
The minimum wage for Hong Kong’s 370,000 domestic helpers will remain frozen for the second year in a row, a government decision partly attributed to the economic slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The monthly rate would remain at HK $ 4,630 (US $ 595), but an allowance for those not fed by their employer would increase from HK $ 52 to HK $ 1,173, the government said on Thursday.
The higher food allowance will apply to aid contracts signed this Friday or later.
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200 additional quarantine locations “far from sufficient” to alleviate the shortage of assistants in Hong Kong
A government spokesperson said the financial ability of households to afford assistance was the main reason for not changing the minimum wage.
“We have carefully examined the general conditions of the Hong Kong economy and labor market over the past year, as well as Hong Kong’s near-term economic outlook, including the impact of the Covid pandemic. -19 in this year’s review, ”the spokesperson said.
Hong Kong has experienced a shortage of foreign domestic aid since authorities suspended inbound flights from the Philippines and Indonesia earlier this year in response to imported cases of Covid-19 from both countries.
The bans have been lifted, but a number of entry restrictions remain. With fewer domestic workers available, the cost for families to hire help has increased. The city’s auxiliary workforce has grown from 400,000 in 2019 to 370,000 today.
The shortage of aid has also led to a bidding war between employers, with many households struggling to hire even after offering higher wages of between HK $ 5,000 and HK $ 6,500.
The government annually reviews the remuneration of assistants. They received a 2.4 percent pay rise in 2019 and a 2.5 percent raise the year before.
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